Connie Smith sings on the Opry stage

Opry Member

SINCE 1965
Content: 

"It was always a dream I had to sing on the Grand Ole Opry. I remember when I was about five saying that, but I never thought I really would." - Connie Smith

Connie Smith dances with the Opry Square Dancers, 2017.
Connie Smith and Marty Stuart, 2016.
Connie Smith performs with Old Crow Medicine Show, 2016.
Connie Smith celebrates her 50th Opry member anniversary, 2015.
Connie Smith and Brett Young, 2016.
  • Grand Ole Opry Cast - "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" After the devastating Nashville flood in May of 2010, Little Jimmy Dickens and Brad Paisley helped kick off an all-sing of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" during "Country Comes Home," the first show in the newly restored Opry House. Listen as Connie Smith sings a verse of the iconic tune!
  • Connie Smith - "Once A Day" Connie Smith performs "Once A Day" on The Marty Stuart Show. Started in 2008, The Marty Stuart Show features traditional country music performed by host Marty Stuart and his band, The Fabulous Superlaties. Other Opry members to appear on the show include Charley Pride, Riders In The Sky, Ricky Skaggs, and more.

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Biography

As a shy 5-year-old, the sixth child in a family of 14, Constance June Meador once made the prophetic proclamation, “Someday I’m gonna sing on the Grand Ole Opry!” A member of the Opry since 1965, Connie Smith quickly made that dream a reality. Decades later, she continues to astonish audiences with a powerhouse voice that is one of the most respected and recognizable in country music.

Born in Indiana but raised in West Virginia and Ohio, Connie was a young housewife and mother with a 4-month-old son in Warner, Ohio, in 1963, when she and her husband traveled to see Opry star Bill Anderson perform at the Frontier Ranch Park in Columbus. Talked into entering a talent contest, Connie won five silver dollars and the chance to meet Bill. When the two met again on New Year’s Day, 1964, Bill invited her to appear on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop radio show that March. He also invited her back to Nashville in May to record some demos. In June, Chet Atkins signed her to RCA Records. One month later she recorded Bill’s song “Once a Day.”

Released in August, it reached the top of the charts by November and became the first-ever debut single by a female country act to reach No. 1. The song spent eight weeks at the top and also was nominated for a Grammy. Her debut album was also a chart-topper, and she followed with several Top 10 hits, including “I Can’t Remember,” “Nobody but a Fool,” “Ain’t Had No Lovin’,” and “Cincinnati, Ohio.”

By 1968, Connie escaped the pressures of constantly touring, recording, and making movie and TV appearances by concentrating on raising her five children and becoming more involved in her church. In 1971, she scored a hit with Don Gibson’s “Just One Time.”

In July 1970, an 11-year-old fan approached Connie at one of her concerts. That fan was young aspiring musician Marty Stuart, who proclaimed to his mother that one day he was going to marry Connie Smith. In July 1997, that’s just what he did. The following year Marty produced Connie’s self-titled, critically lauded CD. “I think Marty and I match so well,” Connie says today. “I love him with all my heart.” The couple continues to collaborate on music, writing and recording songs together for future projects. In 2003, Connie and fellow Opry member Sharon White Skaggs, along with Barbara Fairchild, recorded a Christian album, Love Never Fails. Produced by fellow Opry member Ricky Skaggs, the project earned a Dove Award nomination from the Gospel Music Association.

Years ago, the King of Country Music himself, Mr. Roy Acuff, christened Connie the “Sweetheart of the Grand Ole Opry.” Country music’s love affair with her continues to this day.

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